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Asics DS Racer 10 Review: A Versatile Racing Flat

Asics DS Racer 10One of my favorite shoes last year was the Asics Hyper Speed 6. It was one of those shoes that matched my personal preferences almost perfectly: lightweight, softish heel, responsive forefoot, simple construction. Just a great, all-around shoe.

Based on my experience with the Hyper Speed, I decided to pick up a pair of the Asics DS Racer 10  – they were a bargain at Running Warehouse as a new color was coming out. The DS Racers sat in the box un-worn for several months, and I finally took them out back in early June (wish I’d done so sooner!). I’ve run most of my road miles since then in the Racers, and to be honest, I’m having a hard time wanting to run in anything else. Like the Hyper Speed, they feel like a shoe that was designed specifically for me.

Specs

The DS Racer weighs in at 6.3 oz in men’s size 9, so it’s a very light shoe – less than an ounce heavier than the Hyper Speed. It has stack heights of 23mm in the heel, and 15 mm in the forefoot, but it feels less than an 8mm drop shoe to me.

Asics DS Racer 10 Side

Upper and Fit

The upper of the DS Racer is pretty simple – a nice, breathable mesh supported by welded overlays. The mesh feels a bit less stretchy than that of the Hyperspeed, and the fit may be just a tad snugger around the foot. However, for a racing flat I find the fit of the DS Racer to be fairly accommodating and have not felt the need for extra space up in the forefoot for my toes (I have an average width foot). Fit around the midfoot and heel is nice and snug for a good lock-down.

Asics DS Racer 10 Medial

Internally, the Racer has a weird, white fabric lining the arch area that looks like it was perforated multiple times with a hole puncher. It feels a little scratchy, and this would be one of my few complaints about the shoe – probably not the best choice for sockless running.

Asics DS Racer 10 Interior

The heel region of the DS Racer is supported by a plastic heel counter, and the ankle collar is sufficiently padded to ensure a comfortable fit. No abrasion or hot spots from either.

Sole

The DS Racer is billed as a light stability shoe, having both a medial post and a plastic midfoot shank, but I can’t say that the shoe feels particularly controlling in any way (similar to how I feel about the New Balance 1500 and Saucony Fastwitch). To be honest, it runs a lot like the neutral Hyper Speed.

Asics DS Racer 10 Sole

The feel underfoot is soft in the heel, firm in the forefoot, which is the magical combo for me – I’ve absolutely loved running in this shoe. I’d compare the ride of the DS Racer to that of the Hyper Speed, adidas Adios Boost, Saucony Kinvara, and New Balance 1400. If you know anything about my shoe preferences, that’s pretty impressive company. The thing I like about this group of shoes is that they are all very versatile – enough cushion for long miles, but lightweight and responsive under the forefoot enough for running fast. If I had to narrow down my shoe collection to just one shoe, I’d probably choose from among these (with the Skechers GoRun 4 and New Balance Zante being other contenders).

Asics DS Racer 10 Forefoot Wear

The outsole of the DS Racer is made up of heel components and forefoot components. The heel outsole is AHAR+ high-abrasion rubber and has been holding up well – no excessive wear apparent. The forefoot is composed of a softer rubber, and there is pretty significant wear present on the central forefoot after about 40 miles of running. I don’t think this will negatively impact the function of the shoe, but it would be interesting to see what they look like after a few hundred miles (can anyone comment?).

One other minor complaint is that the drain holes in the sole tend to pick up road debris – I’ve had to pluck out a few rocks mid-run, and you can see one of them plugged up in the photo above. I know some people fill holes like this with shoe goo, so I suppose that would be a simple fix. I have not run in wet conditions in these so can’t comment on water drainage/entry via the holes.

Asics DS Racer 10 Top

Conclusion

The Asics DS Racer 10 is easily among the top shoes I have run in so far this year. It’s not a newly released shoe, but it’s one that I wish I had tried sooner. If you’re looking for a lightweight racer that can also handle longer runs, it’s definitely worth a look. Great shoe!

The benefit of the fact that the DS Racer has been out for awhile is that it can be found for sale at very reasonable prices, particularly when new colors are released (Running Warehouse US has a few colors priced under $70 right now). Outside of the US, they are also on sale at Running Warehouse EU, and are available at Running Warehouse Australia.

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Recent Posts By Category: Running Shoe Reviews | Running Gear Reviews | Running Science
About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Once again a great review Peter 🙂

    On the paper there aren’t that much difference compared to the Asics Gel Hyper Speed 6.
    The forefoot hight is exactly the same (15 mm) but the DS Racer got a bit more heel (like 2 mm).

    Arent it just the same shoe as the Hyperspeed just with a medial post (and thereby more weight) and 2 mm more of heel?

    Love the Hyperspeed btw and bought them after your review last year. They are my current marathonshoe.

    • Yes, very similar shoes in both fit and feel. Not sure I could tell the difference if I didn’t know which were on my feet. I do like the Hyper Speed upper a bit more – a bit more give, and slightly softer.

  2. Hi there,

    their data reads a lot like the Streak LT2 (5.5oz, 22/18mm). Seeing that you’ve run in the Nikes, how do the DS10 compare to the LT2? I really like the Nikes, but I have the feeling they are a little too narrow for my feet. As I prefer to run in racing flats, I might give the Asics a try if they are similar (+wider).
    You wanted to review the LT2 too, right? *hint* 😉

    • I need to get on that LT2 review! Yes, the Asics are a bit wider, and feels like a bit more sole. But, the LT 2 is ok for a Nike in terms of width, and sole is pretty cushy for a flat. Both great shoes, but if wider is what you want then try the DS Racer or Hyperspeed.

  3. Hey Pete,
    I have a history of peroneal tendon issues supposedly due to supination. Should I be at all worried about light stability shoes like this?
    Thanks for the great review!

  4. I have a pair of DS10s and like them a lot for short / medium runs. I appreciate the forefoot being nice and wide as I guess my toes are wider than normal. The ride is (for me) a touch too hard but they’re well made, simple shoes, the sole looks reasonably durable for racing shoes and they are a good value.

  5. A favourite and an absolutely great shoe, especially for longer distances but I have also ran 10k track with them. Have used them for half marathon and two full marathons 2014 and they have worked great for me being a rather lightweight sub3hr-marathon runner, did hardly notice them on my feet during the marathons, perhaps the best verdict a shoe can get? Lightweight with good ground contact, simple, breathable upper, the support part of the midsole is hardly noticeable. Durability of the outsole is not great, mine are showing significant wear after about 250 km (150 miles approx) and some runners have reported that traction on wet surface might be poor with the outsole, which I have not experienced. I use mine mainly for racing due to durability of the outsole, will likely replace them with the Asics Hyperspeed when they are worn out!

  6. Thanks for the review Pete! I’ve been wondering about these. Tried the DS Trainer and didn’t like it, but if these ride like the Hyper Speed but a little more stable, it sounds like a great shoe for me! Got a pair coming from RW right now. Love getting a $60.00 pair of shoes with your RUNBLOG 10 discount! 🙂 I’ll be doing the Shoe Goo thing because I’m about a total trail dog and love a light, fast shoe that doesn’t ride like a brick, out here on the hard packed trails in AZ.

  7. Dietmar says:

    I really like the fit of the DS Racer, but prefer slightly more the sole of the Hyperspeed 6 and its drop. Although the DS Racer and Hyperspeed are already good shoes, Asics should take the fit of the DS Racer, use the Hyperspeed midsole while making it just a tad firmer and the result would be a pretty awesome racing flat!

  8. It’s a shame Asics doesn’t import their “real” racing shoes from Japan or even Europe. The versions in North America are shadows of the Japanese Domestic market shoes.

  9. Awesome!! Just what I was looking for. I bought it one day ago and want to say to everyone that Asics DS Racer is a very comfortable to wear. I really like it. Thanks

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